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Building home equity

This image is photograph of a woman holding a “sold” sign.
Many people choose to purchase their home rather than rent. This chapter explores how the global financial crisis has influenced home ownership. (Credit: modification of work by Diana Parkhouse/Flickr Creative Commones)

The housing bubble and the financial crisis of 2007

In 2006, housing equity in the United States peaked at $13 trillion. That means that the market prices of homes, less what was still owed on the loans used to buy these houses, equaled $13 trillion. This was a very good number, since the equity represented the value of the financial asset most U.S. citizens owned.

However, by 2008 this number had gone down to $8.8 trillion, and it declined further still in 2009. Combined with the decline in value of other financial assets held by U.S. citizens, by 2010, U.S. homeowners’ wealth had declined by $14 trillion! This is a staggering result, and it affected millions of lives: people had to alter their retirement decisions, housing decisions, and other important consumption decisions. Just about every other large economy in the world suffered a decline in the market value of financial assets, as a result of the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.

This chapter will explain why people buy houses (other than as a place to live), why they buy other types of financial assets, and why businesses sell those financial assets in the first place. The chapter will also give us insight into why financial markets and assets go through boom and bust cycles like the one described here.

Introduction to financial markets

In this chapter, you will learn about:

  • How Businesses Raise Financial Capital
  • How Households Supply Financial Capital
  • How to Accumulate Personal Wealth

When a firm needs to buy new equipment or build a new facility, it often must go to the financial market to raise funds. Usually firms will add capacity during an economic expansion when profits are on the rise and consumer demand is high. Business investment is one of the critical ingredients needed to sustain economic growth. Even in the sluggish economy of 2009, U.S. firms invested $1.4 trillion in new equipment and structures, in the hope that these investments would generate profits in the years ahead.

Between the end of the recession in 2009 through the second quarter 2013, profits for the S&P 500 companies grew to 9.7 % despite the weak economy, with much of that amount driven by cost cutting and reductions in input costs, according to the Wall Street Journal . [link] shows corporate profits after taxes (adjusted for inventory and capital consumption). Despite the steep decline in quarterly net profit in 2008, profits have recovered and surpassed pre-Recession levels.

Corporate profits after tax (adjusted for inventory and capital consumption)

Corporate profits after tax were around $500 billion in 2000 and climbed as high as $1,400 billion around 2007 before plummeting down around $600 billion in 2009. 2013 reports showed corporate profits after tax were around $1,800 billion.
Until 2008, corporate profits after tax have generally continued to increase each year. There was a significant drop in profits during 2008 and into 2009. The profit trend has since continued to increase each year, though at a less steady or consistent rate. (Source: Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CPATAX)

Many firms, from huge companies like General Motors to startup firms writing computer software, do not have the financial resources within the firm to make all the desired investments. These firms need financial capital from outside investors, and they are willing to pay interest for the opportunity to get a rate of return on the investment for that financial capital.

On the other side of the financial capital market, suppliers of financial capital, like households, wish to use their savings in a way that will provide a return. Individuals cannot, however, take the few thousand dollars that they save in any given year, write a letter to General Motors or some other firm, and negotiate to invest their money with that firm. Financial capital markets bridge this gap: that is, they find ways to take the inflow of funds from many separate suppliers of financial capital and transform it into the funds desired by demanders of financial capital. Such financial markets include stocks, bonds, bank loans, and other financial investments.

Visit this website to read more about financial markets.

Our perspective then shifts to consider how these financial investments appear to suppliers of capital such as the households that are saving funds. Households have a range of investment options: bank accounts, certificates of deposit, money market mutual funds, bonds, stocks, stock and bond mutual funds, housing, and even tangible assets like gold. Finally, the chapter investigates two methods for becoming rich: a quick and easy method that does not work very well at all, and a slow, reliable method that can work very well indeed over a lifetime.

Questions & Answers

what is economic
Vida Reply
Economic is a seines which study the human behavior as ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Debrah
what is special directives
Emmanuel Reply
what is demand
Joseph Reply
Demand simply refers to the amount of goods and services which the consumer is willing and able to purchase at each price
Owusu
what is mean by unitary elastic demand
Bangniyel Reply
demand is said to be unitary elastic when the percentage change in the demand is equal to the percentage change in the price
George
what is the principle of equi-marginal utility
Reliance Reply
what is Economics and it important
Anita Reply
what is production
Anita
what is Economic
Anita Reply
what is the meaning of Economic
Anita
economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Boso
I don't know.
natchanan
u don't
Ssali
@ Boso thanks for the definition ✌
Raewyn
boso u r too much u try
Liambee
ya nyc
Ssali
Thanks kk
Anita
pls can I ask more questions
Anita
what is production
Anita
production is creation of goods and services
George
what is macroeconomics and microeconomics
Anita
macroeconomics deals with larger economic units such as GDP,GNP,employment while microeconomics deals with smaller economic units such firm and household
George
Thanks
Anita
Explain the ff Scarcity Ends Demand Supply Choice Scale of preference
Anita
macroeconomics deals with larger economic units such as GDP,GNP,employment while microeconomics deals with smaller economic units such firm and household
George
Gross Domestic product...it represent the total value of the products produced within the country including foreign industries
George Reply
what is products
Anita
what are the favourable demand
Odia Reply
list of climate that affect demands
Odia
What is two major forms of international trade?
Musa Reply
What is Economics and why it is important
Abdul Reply
De ans,Economics is the study of women behavior as a relationship between end and scared mean which have alternative uses.
Anita
What is Inflation
Abdul Reply
More money = more consumers, more consumers = lessen the product, less product = high price, high price = inflation
TuroN
is it definition
Odia
why price and quantity increase
Otuu Reply
condition under which price and quantity will be increased at the same time
Otuu
factors that hinders mobility of labour
Dennis Reply
what is scarcity
Adams Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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